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The Greek Symbol Mystery

The Greek Symbol Mystery

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The Greek Symbol Mystery

4/5 (1 valutazione)
139 pagine
1 ora
Mar 17, 2015


When Nancy is told that a large inheritance from a Greek tycoon, meant for her friend Helen Nicholas, was stolen, she knows it’s up to her to find the culprit. But after following clues in the form of a poisonous snake in a basket of apples and a strange symbol stamped on a rare Byzantine mask, Nancy and her friends find themselves in the middle of a ring of art smugglers. Will they discover the secret of the Greek symbol and recover Helen’s inheritance?
Mar 17, 2015

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The Greek Symbol Mystery - Carolyn Keene



Mystery Plus Mystery

Nancy, do you think you could help solve a mystery for me while you’re in Greece? asked Mrs. Thompson, a friend and neighbor of the Drews. A tinge of sadness crept into the woman’s hazel eyes.

Oh, I’d love to, the titian-haired eighteen-year-old replied. What’s it about?

Nancy’s father, Carson Drew, a well-known River Heights attorney, had just given her an intriguing assignment to follow up in Athens. Now the young detective would have two mysteries to solve!

I’ll explain, said Jeannette Thompson, seeing the excitement in Nancy’s face. I’ve been sending money to the Papadapoulos family for about a year, but the last few payments disappeared.

Disappeared? Nancy repeated. Were they stolen?

I don’t know. I didn’t send the money directly to Greece. There was an agency in New York—the Photini Agency—which transferred my donations. The main office is in Athens, and I assume that Mr. Georgiou, the New York manager, forwarded the money to Athens. Then it went to the family.

You say that some of the money disappeared, Nancy went on. Do you mean the family never received it?

That’s right, Mrs. Thompson replied. I used to get very sweet thank-you notes from the mother, but they stopped coming. Then, last week, I heard from her again. Mrs. Papadapoulos said she was writing because she had not heard from me in so long! Apparently, she contacted the Photini Agency in Athens about the missing payments. They told her that probably I had lost interest. Can you imagine such a thing?

Nancy shook her head in bewilderment. No, I can’t, she said. What about the New York office?

It closed suddenly.

Mrs. Thompson explained that she had tried to telephone Mr. Georgiou several times but there was never any answer. I finally asked the police to investigate, and that’s how I found out the office had closed. According to the post office, all mail was to be sent to Mr. Georgiou in care of the Athens address.

What’s his first name? Nancy asked.


Did he endorse your checks?

Yes, with the name of the Photini Agency stamped underneath, the woman said. I can show you one.

Mrs. Thompson disappeared into her bedroom and soon returned with a small metal box. It contained numerous cancelled checks. She leafed through them quickly.

Here you are, she said, handing one to the young detective.

Nancy stared at the signature on the back. It was bold and distinctive. Obviously it belonged to a person of confidence.

Did you ever meet Mr. Georgiou? Nancy asked.

No. All the arrangements were made through the mail. I had seen an ad to sponsor needy children in Greece and that’s how it all started. There are three children in the Papadapoulos family, but my donations were primarily intended to help send Maria to school.

Nancy’s mind was racing. Had Dimitri Georgiou kept the money for himself? How many other poor Greek families had he robbed? Or had someone else taken the money? But who?

Nancy squeezed Mrs. Thompson’s hand. We’ll do all we can, the girl detective assured her.

We? the woman asked.

My friends Bess and George are going with me, Nancy explained.

Bess Marvin and George Fayne were cousins and Nancy’s closest friends. They often helped her solve mysteries, even those in distant countries.

Well, my dear, is there anything else I ought to tell you? Mrs. Thompson asked.

I’d like to make a copy of Dimitri Georgiou’s signature, Nancy said. She pulled a small notepad and a felt-tip pen from her handbag, then carefully imitated the handwriting. Clue number one, she said, slipping the pad and pen back into her bag.

When Nancy reached home that afternoon, she immediately called Bess and George to report her visit with Mrs. Thompson. So, she concluded, between looking for Helen Nicholas’s cousin, her missing inheritance, and Mrs. Thompson’s money, we’ll have plenty to do in Athens!

I’ll say, George replied. I can’t wait!

Hannah Gruen, the Drews’ housekeeper who had helped rear Nancy since she was three years old, when her mother had passed away, overheard the conversation. Your trip sounds like trouble to me, she said, frowning.

Oh, Hannah, Nancy said, chucking the woman’s chin affectionately. You worry so.

When the young detective and her friends boarded the plane for New York the next day, she grinned. Last night Hannah dreamed that we’d be greeted at Athens airport by gorgons—monsters with snakes for hair!

Plump Bess Marvin ran a hand through her blond waves and shivered. Thanks for telling me. I’m nervous about flying as it is.

George laughed. Didn’t you say Hannah was having a permanent today, Nancy? I bet that’s what inspired the nightmare!

As the three girls settled into their seats, George yawned. How long do we have to wait in New York between flights? she asked Nancy.

Three hours.

In that time, Bess said, we could take a sightseeing tour of the whole city.

That’s just what I had in mind, Nancy said.

The cousins looked at her in surprise. Are you serious? George asked.

Nancy nodded. Here’s the address of the Photini Agency in Astoria. We might pick up a clue.

Out there? We’ll miss our plane! Bess objected.

No, we won’t.

Didn’t you know that every New York taxi has wings? George chuckled.

Just so long as ours has four good tires, Bess replied.

The flight to New York took little more than an hour. Within twenty minutes after landing, the trio had flagged down a cab. It looped onto a service road that fed into a busy highway.

That’s the building over there, the taxi driver said, taking the exit for Astoria.

Bess gaped at a line of people holding signs and marching up and down the block.

Who’s on strike? George asked.

The tenants, their driver replied as they pulled close.

Nancy took some money from her wallet and handed it to the man. We’ll get out here. Thanks.

Not me, Bess said. I’m going back to the airport.

As George nudged her cousin out the door, Nancy caught sight of the storefront that bore the name PHOTINI. A peppery-haired man was sweeping out the empty store.

Let’s talk to him, Nancy suggested.

But as they started to slip through the picket line, brusque voices shouted at them. Hey, where do you think you’re going? one cried out. Yeah, that’s what I want to know! yelled the other.

George stared into a pair of angry eyes. We’re only trying to— she began apologetically.

The man behind them snapped like a firecracker. Say, who are you anyway? he asked George. You look like Mr. Sully’s daughter!

That’s her, all right, another man added in an accusing tone. You tell your father we’re going to see that all his buildings are condemned by the city!

She’s not— Nancy interrupted, but was cut off as the crowd pressed closer to the girls. She grabbed George by one arm while Bess hung onto the other.

We’re cousins, she murmured. Her name is Fayne and mine is—

Her words trailed off as the men barked back. Go home, Miss Sully. We’re the new landlords here!

The men laughed harshly, forcing the girls to step off the curb into the street.

Those men aren’t going to let us within two feet of that agency, George declared.

I knew we should’ve stayed at the airport, Bess put in as the cleaning man retreated into the store.

Let’s go, Nancy said in disappointment. She waved to an oncoming taxi. I hope our batting average improves when we get to Athens.

The girls were still discussing the side trip when they boarded their plane, an Olympic Airways jet. While Bess went ahead to find their seats, Nancy stopped to talk with the copilot. He was young and had dark hair that spun in waves across his forehead.

I flew a small plane once, Nancy told him. I can’t imagine sitting behind controls like these.

Well, as long as we aren’t in motion yet, the copilot replied, ducking into the front compartment, be my guest.

Oh, are you sure it’s all right?

Just don’t touch anything. Okay?

She nodded and slipped into the comfortable bucket seat next to him. This is fantastic! Nancy exclaimed, leaning toward the bank of knobs and gauges.

Suddenly a man’s voice bellowed at the pair from behind them. What is this? Some joke? You let a girl try to fly this plane? Are you crazy?

The copilot

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